The History of Gambling in England

Feb 4, 2013 by

historyofgamblingThe History of Gambling in England by John Ashton was originally published in 1898 and is a very unique read on gambling and gamblers in the late 19th century.

Here’s a few lines to give you an idea:

“8th Feb. 1816.
Yesterday, a gentleman, the head in a firm of a first-rate concern in the City, put a period to his existence by blowing out his brains. He had gone to the masquerade at the Argyll Rooms a few nights since, and accompanied a female home in a coach with two men, friends of the woman. When they got to her residence, the two men proposed to the gentleman to play for a dozen of champagne to treat the lady with, which the gentleman declined. They, however, after a great deal of persuasion, prevailed on him to play for small sums, and, according to the usual tricks of gamblers, allowed him to win at first, till they began to play for double, when, there is no doubt, the fellows produced loaded dice, and the gentleman lost to the amount of 1800, which brought him to his reflection and senses. He then invented an excuse for not paying that sum, by saying he was under an agreement with his partner not to draw for a larger amount than 300 for his private account, and gave them a draft for that amount, promising the remainder at a future day. This promise, however, he did not attend to, not feeling himself bound by such a villainous transaction. But the robbers found out who he was, and his residence, and had the audacity to go yesterday morning, armed with bludgeons, and attack him publicly on his own premises, in the presence of those employed there, demanding payment of their nefarious debt of honour, and threatening him, if he did not pay, that he should fight. This exposure had such an effect upon his feelings, that he made an excuse to retire, when he destroyed himself by blowing out his brains with a pistol. This rash act is
additionally to be lamented, as it prevents the bringing to condign punishment the plundering villains who were the cause of it, there being no evidence to convict them.”

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